Fort McHenry holds fire after cannon blast accident

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With the Star Spangled Spectacular in the books, the Fort McHenry cannons are back to their usual role as silent enforcers. Turns out, the blasts may not return to the harbor for quite a while. As a result of a celebratory shot that backfired and injured a re-enactor, the National Park Service took the cannons offline, the Associated Press reports.

The wayward blast occurred on the morning of Sept. 16, as crews were firing shots to salute the Pride of Baltimore II and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle while they departed the harbor, according to a news release from the National Park Service.

The shot of black powder backfired, and was powerful enough to dislodge the metal at the rear end of the cannon, the news release states. The crew member, who was the only person injured, suffered “minor flash burns” on the hand.

Officials shut down the battery area of Fort McHenry where the shot was fired, and they’re apparently having doubts about their relationship with a certain Maryland-based reproduction cannon company.

The AP obtained internal Park Service documents ordering all heavy artillery from Cannons Online to be taken out of commission. Guess they’ll have to find a more reliable Internet cannon retailer.


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